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Be clear about what the future might hold for your career.
A change of job will be at the top of the new year’s resolution list for some of us. For others, it might even be a more drastic change of career. It might sound like a daunting undertaking, but, if you heed the calculated steps we’ve outlined here, this could be one resolution that, for once, doesn’t fail.

A six-letter word

Helpfully, modern working conditions and environments can be adapted to most people’s needs. There are full-time and part-time positions, opportunities to take on projects and sideline ventures, and it’s even a fertile environment for upstarts.

Career coach and author Grace Owen (grace-owen.com) says the secret is not to feel overwhelmed by the change and the options.

“Determine where you want to be in the short and long term, establish how you feel about your career and working life and rate your level of satisfaction on a scale of one to 10,” she says.

If you find there is indeed room for improvement, then help comes in just a six-letter word – career.

C is for clarity

Be clear about what the future might hold for your career by looking back over your entire working life and identifying the highlights and low points.

“What do they reveal about what is really important to you? Think about what kind of experiences, talents, skills or interests you want to take with you
on your journey and the values that matter most,” says Owen.

A is for attitude

Is your glass half full or half empty?

“A positive attitude makes all the difference at interviews and pitches for business,” says Owen. “In a labour market where there is an abundance of talented people, employers and clients are spoilt for choice, so your disposition will go a long way to determining if you are hired or fired.”

Be aware of the attitude you convey on a typical working day, the things your think and say. It may be creating a negative attitude. If you are not sure,
ask four people who are prepared to be honest.

R is for relatonships

Your personal and professional network is a valuable source of expertise and advice. But if it’s full of negative, energy-sapping people, then it’s time
to separate the wheat from the chaff, says Owen.

“Harnessing your network to find out about job vacancies or create strategic business alliances are examples of the benefits it can bring. Some people will come in, others will be there just for a season of your working life, others you will seek out and some will be with you for life.”

Review your address book, mobile phone directory, email contacts, Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections. Identify an inner circle of 12 people you want to contact regularly and make time to see and support them.

E is for equipped

Your talents, knowledge, skills and experience are priceless, so, with that in mind, you should be investing in your own learning and development.

Create a self development plan for the next 12 months based on things that you want to improve. Remember to play to your strengths rather than trying to correct your weaknesses.

E is for excellence

We all have the capacity to be more and do more. Our potential is unlimited, so don’t rest on your laurels.

The best part about setting a standard of excellence for yourself – and achieving it – is that other people see you as a role model and they want to hear about your successes and pitfalls.

Being visible and sharing your story to an individual or group inspires others to be courageous and confident to take calculated risks. In turn, being around these people can only make you want to better yourself.

R is for reflection

Take time to check out your spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and financial wellbeing. If your work and life is out of balance identify something to redress this. For example, if you’ve been working too hard, then organise a night out.

“The first step is often the hardest to take,” says Owen. “Consider carefully what you are and what you are not going to do. In this way you will start off well and keep the momentum going until December 31.“

Get more info at grace-owen.com

- Rebecca Kent

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